To be honest my original memories of carob and its flavour aren’t fond memories and are from back about 20 years ago when I was a teenager and went vegan/vegetarian and picked up some carob drops from the health food store….yuk!!!
It wasn’t until last year around Easter I was having lunch at Maxwell’s Grocery, Aldinga Beach and saw that they were selling The Carob Kitchen Banjo the Easter Bear Eggs and liked the fact they had no added sugar. This is what my then 2 year old was given for Easter. I had one too! I was so totally surprised how sweet, malty and creamy it was. I was totally addicted. Ever since buying a little Banjo Bear from the supermarket is our little treat.
More recently I came across the syrup and powder of carob, when I was researching chocolate alternatives for my brownie recipe for a fellow student whom is allergic to chocolate. So I stocked up ready to give it a go.
What is Carob?
Carob (Ceratonia siliqua) is a leguminous evergreen tree of the family Leguminosae (pulse family). Carob is technically a legume, and its fruit is a fairly thick and broad pod (Natural Medicines 2017).
Although being a legume, the carob we eat is from the seed pod, not the legume itself – the seed – so technically again the carob we eat could be classed as paleo according to Mark Sisson (Marks’ Daily Apple 2011). The seeds are generally used in the food industry and used as a thickener under the name of locust bean gum (Biotechnology Journal 2016).
Originally grown in the mediterranean climates hence it loves it’s home here in Port Elliot, South Australia on The Carob Kitchen farm with dry days and sea-breezes. Who wouldn’t love it?
The pulp of the carob fruit contains various soluble sugars (40-45%), condensed tannins (20%), mucilage (2-3%), starch (3.5%) and fats. The seed with its integument removed has an albumen that provides the ‘carob gum’, made up of a sugary polymer (90-95%9, proteins and mineral salts (IUCN 2005).
Traditionally it has been used for diarrhoea, treating liver problems, and for after childbirth. In herbal medicine, as the gum is a thickener it is used for infant vomiting and has made it’s way into infant formulas.
High in sugar?
Yes it is higher in overall carbohydrates than cacao and has less minerals but… it is so full of fibre the sugar content is not going to spike the insulin levels when taken in its least processed form, and it is caffeine free. I don’t have the link right now, but I had seen many articles recently about cacao not being recommended for children due to it’s extra high caffeine content. So carob makes a great alternative.
I encourage you all to give it another go. Try these donuts and see what you think.
Acknowledgement: I am not a recipe maker. I am a recipe tweaker – as in I can follow a recipe and learn quickly how to adapt it to what I want. Hence all the credit for this donut recipe goes to Elana from Elana’s Pantry. I’m a huge fan of Elana’s!! Her recipes are so thoroughly tested that they never fail for me! and they taste amazing and meet my needs.
Chocolate Carob Donuts
A perfect sweet treat packed full of protein.
- In the thermomix/processor/bowl with hand mixer, place in all ingredients for donuts in bowl and whizz until blended – remembering to scrape down sides.
- Fill silicon donut molds 1/2 to 3/4 full.
- Bake 180’c for 10-15 mins – they should be set but not crunchy, springy like a cake. Glaze
- Place in thermomix or double boiler all glaze ingredients. 2 Thermomix 2mins/55deg/sp3 or melt and whisk until all blended. Do not overheat, it will form a paste. Still tasty but I learnt this the hard way.
- Drizzle over cooled (and I mean let them cool people! otherwise all the glaze will be on the bench) donuts and top with your choice of topping.